Fisheries Ecology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
09 September 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C161 Marine Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C164 Marine Biology,
BSC CC60 Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CC64 Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
MMB C160 Marine Biology

Module description

Fisheries play a key role in providing food, income and employment in many parts of the world and effective fisheries management requires clear objectives and a decision making process supported by the best scientific advice. This course will give a broad understanding of biological, economic, and social aspects of fisheries science and the interplay between them. Specifically, from fisheries ecology, production processes, life histories and distributions to population structures. We will also examine fishing gears and techniques, socioeconomics and stock assessments as well as freshwater fisheries and conservation management.

Module aims

This module aims to give a broad understanding of biological, economic, and social aspects of fisheries science and the interplay between them.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Discuss how physical and biological processes drive the production of fished species and why the abundance of these species changes in space and time.
2. Describe the scale, social and economic significance of global fisheries , the species that are caught and the gears that are used to catch them
3. Discuss the factors that motivate and limit human fishing activities and why fishers behave as they do
4. Outline the economic, social and biological reasons why fished species tend to be overexploited
5. Explain how to make basic quantitative assessments of single and multi species fisheries and estimate the parameters needed for these assessments
6. Discuss the key strengths and failings of different fisheries assessment methods
7. Discuss the impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems, birds, mammals, non-target species and habitats
8. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate and interpret data sets and other sources of information.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

10x2 hour lectures 1x6 hour field session Student managed learning: 130 hrs/module Total 150 hrs


  • Jennings, Simon; Kaiser, Michel J; Reynolds, John D. (2001) Marine fisheries ecology, Oxford: Blackwell Science.
  • Hilborn, Ray; Hilborn, Ulrike. (c2012) Overfishing: what everyone needs to know, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
0% 100%


Coursework Exam
0% 100%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Leanne Hepburn, email:
Dr Leanne Hepburn, Dr Tom Cameron
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Nicholas Kamenos
University of Glasgow
Available via Moodle
Of 58 hours, 19 (32.8%) hours available to students:
39 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

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